RTV 440 Project Steps & Directions

You must sign up for shooting training and certification.  Be sure to bring your own SDHC or SDXC card, Class 10, with at least 16GB storage.  If you are ABSOLUTELY, COMPLETELY skilled with the JVC and Canon cameras, demonstrate that to the trainer this week.  If not, you must learn the Canon, next week you must learn the JVC as a back up option.

First shooting assignment below, but first REVIEW THESE GUIDELINES FROM THE SYLLABUS:

1.   Specified time and content requirements must be followed for project credit.
2.   If you fabricate content or violate legal newsgathering practices, you will fail the
      course. You must fill out and turn in accurate information for everyone you speak
      with about a news story, and you must include accurate first and last names of
      everyone included in a news story.   NOTE:  Even after completing this course, your
      grade will be changed to an ‘F’ if is discovered that you fabricated any
      content in any news story.   Academic Honesty:  See the Student Handbook.
      Every person used in your story must be connected to the story -- no 'man on the
      street' commentary sound bites and no acquaintances may be used in a story.
 3.  Material must be air quality, suitable for broadcast--content, style, and pronunciation.
 4.  A project that does not fit air quality guidelines will receive a negative (D grade or
      lower) evaluation. Negative evaluation with ANY of the following errors:  bad audio,
      bad lighting, shaky shot, weak story content, missing required story/visual content
      (e.g. 2-shot, reaction shot, stand up, lack of sequences), unapproved story, editing
      error, script error, labeling error, digital file name error, plus others as noted elsewhere.
 5.  Your voice and talent must be the only ones used during all productions.
 6.  All video and scripts should be your own original work done at the time of the
      assignment during this semester. Typed and appropriate scripts must be submitted
      with each story as assigned (and shared in your Google Drive folder).  Rough draft
      scripts and final draft scripts must be properly shared in Google Drive.
 7.  Be sure to turn in each assignment properly labeled and as assigned.  Stories
      with all supporting materials must be turned in as described in class by the assigned
      deadline for credit. Any missing required item means story is marked not submitted.
 8.  No jump cuts, shaky shots (use a tripod!), bad lighting, bad audio, or date stamps.
      These will be marked as Fatal Flaws (FF); story may be marked as not submitted and
       with course grade penalty. All sound bites must be close miked, with lapel mics only.
 9.  Remember, LATE NEWS is an oxymoron.  Turn in scripts and projects ON TIME.
10.  ACCUMULATE YOUR PROJECTS on computer and as uploaded digital files and save your
       scripts and story content as the semester progresses.
11.  Saving files on your edit station:  set Final Cut Pro so that all content for your edit is within
       your own project folder, that is on the current semester folder and then the RTV 440 folder.
12.  You may do a feature during the semester only with approval.  A feature may be
       generally described as ‘about it/them’ while a straight news story is ‘what
       happened/what is happening/what will happen.’  Features must be packages.
13.  Each VO-SOT-VO must have VO with b-roll, a sound bite, followed by more VO. 
       These must be submitted as described in class.  Any one SB MUST be : 10-:16 long.
       Your sound bite must start with :02 silence or nat sound only before the
       audio of the sound bite starts.  A double SOT VSV story may be done based on specific
       advance instructor approval and production direction.
14.  Every package must have two separate interview subjects used and a minimum of
       three sound bites within the story.  Accurate CG name/location/title information must
       be on the script and produced story.  CG must use assigned template. VSV of the same story
       may use the same sound bite guest but a different sound bite than used in the package or is
       marked as not submitted.  Sound bites may be no more than :30 total of a package.
15.  Every package must have one stand-up and no more.  A SU close must be the story
        close followed by our standard outcue: "Bob Smith, A&M-Commerce, Mane Media News." 
        OR -- for upload to the East Texan:  Bob Smith, A&M-Commerce, East Texan News
       SU Bridge is best--if done correctly. Lapel mic only on stand-up. Proper attire on SU.
16.  No stock footage in any news story.  Shoot new footage for each new story you do.
       No one else may shoot your video and you may not use video shot for any other
       purpose. You will fail the course if anyone helps you create any news project.
17.  Begin your process of covering news by checking beats.  ALWAYS SUBMIT A TYPED
       LIST OF A MINIMUM OF THREE STORIES EACH MONDAY or you will have points
       deducted.  Standard topic sign up deadline is two weeks before project due date.
18.  On packages, video must start :02 before audio starts. Hold your final shot after the audio
       ends for a minimum of :05, then black only.  VSVs must have one continuous-shot :20 video
       pad after the timed sequences of Tape 1 and after the timed segment of video that follows the
       sound bite on Tape 2.  All pads on these must be one continuous visual, not a series of edited
       shots. (story is rejected if pad is not done correctly).  The pad VSV shots must a wide shot
       that relates to the story's content, and you may not use the same shot for both pads.
19.  Submit one typed script in final draft quality with each news story submitted. A .doc / .docx
       version must be e-mailed to rtv_news@yahoo.com by due time.   Rough draft script is
       always due as assigned; final draft script and story by 5 pm of due date.  At the time
       of submitting the final draft, all source/verification material must be turned in as a hard copy.
20.  Department topics or people only with approval. Never use friends/acquaintances as
        news sources.  If you do, it will count as fabricated content (see item 2 above).
21.  Shoot all video in SP speed, 16 x 9 aspect ratio and with audio set to 16 bit.  We are shooting
       SD 16:9, 30 frames (29.97).   The standard for FCP and Premiere is .mov mode. On the JVC
       shoot only as .mov; on the Canon XA20, shoot only in MP4 mode -- recording at 24 Mbps.
      You must know how to manually set audio levels, white balance, focus, iris setting and shutter
       speed. Use autofocus only as discussed in class.  Never shoot in 24 frame mode or with any
       digital effects.  You must know when and when not to use -48v setting on your camera.  Most
       transitions in news stories are cuts.  Be sure camera ‘white balance’ is set correctly each time
      you start shooting.
22.  Photography is the art of capturing and controlling light.  If you shoot in a low-light situation,
       you must still have enough light on the subject to be seen. Take field lighting gear to shoot.
23.  You must make advance contact for each event you cover so the organizers know to expect
       you.  Some events may not be public or may not be feasible to shoot as a news story.  As soon
       as you select a story, you must immediately confirm that it will be an available event to shoot.
24.  Camera and gear reminder -- you take financial responsibility for everything you check
       out.  You must shoot with a tripod, and if we start getting them broken by negligence,
       they will no longer be available and you will have to go buy your own.  Walmart sells
       basic ones for about $30-$40.  Take care of the equipment--there is no budget to replace
       what we have.

AND SOME NPPA-style News Tips:

 1.  Find a way to care about your story and storytelling in the news.  If you don't care, no
      one will.
 2.  Have a plan.. If you go out shooting wildly, someone will get hurt--YOU.
 3.  Reporting is like being lectured; storytelling is like recess. Do storytelling.
 4.  Don't try to cram 100 pounds into a 10-pound bag; find your story focus & stick to it.
 5.  Nat sots grab 'em and keep 'em--nothing tells a story better than three seconds of
       meaningful natural sound.
 6.  Throughout the story, build your report around sequences.
 7.  Stop writing occasionally and let two or three seconds of compelling action occur
      without voice over.
 8.  Your close should be so strong that nothing else can top it.
 9.   Build in surprises.  The secret to doing it well is the set-up.
10.  Tell your story through people.  Very few shots should be without people in them.
11.  Prove your focus with video and sound.
12.  'A trailer has burned down' is not a story focus, because it fails to meet the 'so what'
       test. “The trailer burned because the walls are full of flammable insulation that is
       dangerous for others” describes the larger issue and makes the story compelling.
13.  Action and reaction are critical components in the visual storytelling process.  The
       reaction makes it memorable.  Show reaction in every story.
14.  Recheck NPPA Tip #1


AFTER passing quiz and doing hands-on Canon camera training, use a Canon camera to shoot an 8-question minimum interview with anyone about 'construction work on campus.'  Shots must be MS, objective pov, correctly lit and miked.  After main interview continuous1-shot, get 5 sequenced shots of the guest doing something and including appropriate 2-shot.  Interview questions must focus on‘what’s hard and/or what’s useful, good but also problematic, bad regarding current parking, Rec Center and Nursing Building construction.  START by creating an 8+ question script done like this.

Possible group shooting time in class on Wednesday. If so, work with your partner and go get about 3:00 to 5:00 b-roll for a PKG and VSV that would tell the story about current progress, impact and/or what's coming coming up soon with campus construction.  A script to follow is linked on the outline, and you must edit the story into a VSV then PKG. 

VIDEO:  How to write a VO, VO-SOT, PKG     A Day in the Life of a TV Reporter video     TV News Anchor's Day

Sample VSV 1:  The reporter is on camera while they roll 'Tape 1" and stops reporting for them to start Tape 2, that begins with the sound bite.  When the sound bite ends, the reporter finishes the story as more VO.  It's not a well done story, but it is a sample of a VSV, voice-over / sound on tape / voice-over.

Sample VSV 2:  note once again, the reporters read the script, 'Tape 1" is rolled for VO, 'Tape 2 is started with sound bite at the beginning, anchor continues VO reading after sound bite.

Sample VSV 3:  instead of seeing the produced story, it's the raw materials of b-roll and nat sound of Tape 1, with the sound bite starting Tape 2 connected instead of separate, but with the 'vo' b-roll still there after the sound bite.

Sample VSV 4:  another one produced on air: you would have edited the first b-roll with nat sound as 'Tape 1' and then 'Tape 2' that would begin with the sound bite followed by b-roll.  Note as produced live, we hear the sound bite audio before seeing the person speaking, but in the raw tape is started with the person on camera.

Sample PKGs:  Snow Day PKG.  K-State Rodeo.   Motorcycle event.

The next are features -- more about a general idea of something than an event, but still good to review their style.

Open Mic Night.  Joey Gonzalez FeatureClub Red Employee.

This series was produced about 20 years ago and a bit about it (like type of cameras, and linear editing) are outdated.  But you'll learn a lot about being in the field and covering stories by watching these.  Some may be shown in class, but you should watch them on your own.  Your class grade will be affected by not watching these.  Take notes as you watch and put your notes in your Google Drive assignments folder.  There are sample questions on this to guide your notes.
Shooting TV News Part 1   . Shooting TV News Part 2    Field Shooting Video #3   . 
Field Shooting Video #4     Field Shooting Video #5

Story 2

Work begins 2/19.  Story event must have occurred by 2/28.

You must collect and keep records that demonstrate your research of the story.  Create one page that lists each step you make in covering the story: 1.  2/19: Found The Sound of Music event 2/23, 7:30 pm in the Music Department on their web site.   2.  2/19  Found and printed a news release from MacCom about The Sound of Music    3.  2/20 Created and posted interview script to interview Justin Takelley about the event.     4.  2/22--Interviewed Justin Takelley at 4 pm in his office ETC.


If your event was 2/19-23, your completed PKG is due by Wednesday 2/28 and VSV (if assigned) by 3/2.

STORY 2 is based on selection and approval of your topic as listed on the 440 Outline. Keep copies of all materials used to gather information about your story.  Final story submission will be story script, then 'Index List' (as described above), then interview scripts(s), then all other supporting materials stapled together and submitted at time of story submission.  Story topic approval due by Tuesday 2/20--some will have been done last week.  Story event must occur by 2/28.

Interview script due at Monday 2/26 class time (*OR earlier, see above).  Rough draft hard copy story script due at Wednesday class time (*OR earlier). *script always due before shooting each--if your story was last week, you are turning in your final draft script with supporting materials.   ALSO write and post a VSV version of the story script.

If you shot by 2/27, your PKG is due by 3/2 and VSV (if assigned) by 3/5.  If you shot after 2/27 your PKG is due no later than 5 pm Monday 3/5.  Half the class (assigned at random) will re-edit as a VSV due no later than Tuesday 3/6--communicate with Allie James and the TV Newscast producing team. Your work is NOT SUBMITTED unless you also turn in a final draft hard copy of the story script after completing all production work, with all supporting materials stapled underneath.  If approved for upload to the online news site, you must get it uploaded this week also, by Thursday.  The PKG will have to have a revised outcue done and graphics of name keys added for the East Texan Online.
When you finish editing your story, FIRST be sure to finalize your audio: all 'foreground audio' (sound bites, your voice-over, audio on your stand up) MUST all peak at -3.  Background audio on a separate track must be set to about -10 to -12 generally ON EACH CLIP.  Your .mov file must be converted to a DV Stream file using MPEG Streamclip, sent to the server using Filezilla, and tested for quality on the server.  Note the file-naming limitations for the media file.  STANDARD OUTCUE on our packages is now:  "Your Name, A&M-Commerce, Mane Media News."   A PKG media file must be named:  2-3 word slug PKG your initials, like Building Collapse PGK EMG.   VSVs will be: Building Collapse VSV1 EMG and Building Collapse VSV2 EMG.  ALL PACKAGES must have a 2-shot with one of your interview guests.
Remember, do not add graphics / name keys to work submitted to the server--ONLY add those when it's time to upload online.  ALL COMPLETED WORK -- all of the above, due by the stated deadline.  Late work has no value.


'B' GRADE story work --- OR, may be done to have a chance to improve your Story 2 initial 'no grade.' 

First -- read all the requirements of stories as listed above.  Among the basics: (a) you must shoot and edit sequences--if your final story does not have proper sequencing, the story grade wil be no higher than 'C' and will likely be lower, (b) capture good audio then edit good audio--set levels on your edit station before doing the final export to an .mov file, (c) no zooms, no pans, no shots without proper lighting.

Proposed news story topics are to be listed before the Monday 3/19 class – with story topic to be approved and confirmed by Tuesday--it is the student's responsibility to talk to the instructor and confirm the topic.  See the sign up link on the outline.  Duplicate topics count as not submitted—check the list before posting your three story ideas.

If you have ‘no grade’ on your script returned Monday 3/19 for Story 2, you will get a grade, but it will be very low.  To recover some points, do Story 3 and MEET ALL DEADLINES – see the Project Directions and be sure you do it right.  Everyone can have a chance to improve your Story 2 grade, BUT – it will not count as ‘B story’ – you have to decide and let the instructor know by 3/21:  if you have a grade for Story 2, is this the B story or a replacement story? AND – the ‘A’ story weeks will become the ‘B’ grade story, OR …You would have a new schedule to work toward an A, with three stories to cover in the coming eight weeks.  You have to confirm your choice with me this week and we’ll establish the schedule.  But, as noted, if you have ‘no grade’ on your returned script, this is not an issue—either do this next story for a chance to improve your Story 2 grade, or don’t and you’ll get the grade the work justifies.

Story 3 must be covering an event between 3/20 and 3/28.  The completed PKG is due no later than one week after the event you cover, with an absolute final deadline of 5 pm Monday 4/2 for PKG and VSV version due by 5 pm Tuesday 4/3.
Your work is NOT SUBMITTED unless you also turn in a final draft hard copy of the story script after completing all production work, with all supporting materials stapled underneath.   The VSV hard copy script may have no additional attachments unless others are justified.
YOU MUST ALSO post the final draft of each script at the time of story submission to the Story 3 Folder on the desktop of one of the edit stations.